Vicenzaoro September 2021: the rendez-vous marks a new beginning for jewelry, and is confirmed as the place to be for the Italian community of watch enthusiasts23 September 2021
Vicenzaoro restarted with a bang with the “September 2021” edition: the landmark event in Europe for the gold and jewelry supply chain, and the first major international post-Covid event for the industry on the Old Continent recorded 80% of the visitors that attended the pre-pandemic 2019 autumn edition – with over 800 companies present on the fair grounds and a turnout of buyers and visitors from abroad that exceeded 30% of the total: 77% from Europe, led by Spain, Germany, France; 7% from the Middle East; and arrivals from the USA, Russia and North Africa as well; with visitors from 108 countries. There was also considerable interest in the two watch-related events: VO’Clock and VO Vintage.
VINCENT CALABRESE’S CALASYS: THE INVENTION SAYING GOODBYE TO THE SPIRAL
As part of VO’Clock – to dive right away into our passion for watchmaking – the September edition saw all the spotlights focused on master Vincent Calabrese, in his eagerly awaited world premiere conference entitled “Calasys, finally a real alternative to the spiral in watchmaking,” which aims to rewrite history! In fact, the “Calasys” – which stands for “Calabrese System” – wants to replace the spiral hairspring, a regulating body more or less identical in operation to the one created five centuries ago, in 1675 to be precise, by the Dutchman Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695).
Vincent Calabrese, autodidact watchmaker born in Naples in 1944, apprentice watchmaker from the age of 13, then immigrant to Switzerland in 1961, master with an extraordinary career that led him to establish his famous brand of the same name – a brand of magnificent Carousel and Tourbillon watches with an 18-carat gold cages – and co-founder of the prestigious AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants), demonstrated the functioning of his invention on an already existing movement – the well-known Eta 2892 – on which the spiral hairspring was simply replaced with the Calasys System connected to the escapement while keeping the rest of the mechanism totally untouched. For this reason, this invention has an industrial perspective of worldwide importance: because all it takes is to replace the balance spring with the Calasys System, and that’s it.
The Calasys, in practice, is a “rake” bound to a recall body that interacts with the balance pinion. As illustrated in the picture, its symmetrical architecture changes completely with respect to the spiral, with a recall body with twin, independent arms, which, according to Calabrese, guarantee less influence from the gravity force and greater running precision.
Besides the fact that nothing like this had ever been seen before, the other extraordinary aspect of Calasys is that Vincent Calabrese will not sell his new system to the highest bidder, but he will share his discovery with the entire watchmaking world: “I’m not interested in earning tons of money,” he said, “I’m interested in the philosophical development of our industry.”
CONTEMPORARY AND VINTAGE: THE INDEPENDENT BRANDS WERE FEATURED AT VO’CLOCK, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AHCI, WHILE THE BIG NAMES OF THE INDUSTRY WERE ON DISPLAY AT VO VINTAGE
As we anticipated, Watch Insanity and the Watchouse forum were official partners of Vicenzaoro, with forumists enjoying special treatment through exclusive initiatives – including free participation in the CAPAC courses (“Watch Technical Class – Introduction to the basics of movement theory in watchmaking and practical applications of assembly and disassembly”); in the course “Newman Master, a journey to discover the most legendary Daytona dial” curated by Carlo Pergola and our exceptional contributor Stefano Mazzariol; and in that of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie: “Introduction to the history of watchmaking, the market, the terminology used, the mechanical movements and the most famous complications,” also curated by Professor Ugo Pancani.
Under the banner of VO’Clock, we attended the conference “The great Italian interpreters of Swiss watchmaking” with the Swiss “rock stars” (and of Italian blood) Vincent Calabrese, Giulio Papi and Luca Soprana. We’ve spotted interesting novelties from several top independent brands, such as the science fiction chronograph Dice by Cyrus, the Geneva-based brand of master watchmaker Jean-François Mojon; such as the Eccentricity Réserve de Marche, the latest amazing creation by Cyril Brivet-Naudot – a brilliant French craftsman born in 1991; or such as the unique pieces by David Candaux. In addition, it is worth mentioning the suggestive choice, aiming at absolute quality, of Cesare Cerrito – who, for his brand Meccaniche Veloci, with an Italian heart and an atelier in Plan-les-Ouates, bets everything on the uncompromising realization of 100% Made in Suisse. In parallel, Corum, Chronoswiss, Junghans, Meistersinger and Victorinox were also present with more structured productions.
On the other hand, at VO Vintage we were able to enjoy an almost endless series of stratospheric specimens selected by the international big names of watchmaking. One over all? The American Bob Maron! Among the side-events, some of the talks weren’t to be missed: just think of the conference entitled “Between passion and investment” that our legendary Sandro Fratini attended, along with Elvio Piva and Maurizio De Angelis (the latter, just 33 years old, last June 26 at the auction Antiquorum-Deangelis in Forte dei Marmi has doubled, with a 4.4 million euros sale, the record for a watch auction in Italy which previously belonged to Bolaffi with 2.1 million euros knocked down in Milan, in September 2020).
VO’CLOCK AND VO VINTAGE AT A GLANCE? A LARGE COMMUNITY OF ENTHUSIASTS
Above all, Vicenzaoro and its two specific watchmaking events are confirmed as the greatest occasion in Italy for sharing our common passion, with moments of reflection, as the opening conference entitled “The independent brands and the new post-pandemic scenarios,” moderated by the founder of Watch Insanity, Jacopo Giudici, together with myself. And with our friends Mario Peserico (President of Assorologi and General Manager of Eberhard & Co.), Giorgione (collector and founder of the Watchouse forum), Jacopo Corvo (Corvo&C. and GMT Great Masters of Time boutique) and Cesare Cerrito (CEO of Meccaniche Veloci). Together with situations of pure entertainment, such as dedicated happy-hours and dinners. Therefore, after such a new start, expectations are already high for the next edition in January (from the 21st to the 26th).
By Michele Mengoli